UW Graduate School

Ask the Grad School Guru


May 17, 2018

Self-assessment: Phase one of three in the job search

The academic year has flown by, and some grad students are graduating and approaching an exciting new phase in the working world: others are continuing their education and looking for summer work in-between. But what if you don’t have a job lined up, and are unsure of how to get started? Lucky for you, the…


May 3, 2018

Where to find mental health resources for graduate students?

I would love to find mental health resources specifically for graduate students. I am on medicaid, and have had trouble finding a long-term counseling in the area. However, the counseling center also has a long wait time for appointments. I’ve considered going to support groups, but would prefer to be with people who are similar…


April 19, 2018

Lonely and Isolated in Grad School

I am a first year Ph.D. student and feel lonely all the time. There are several days when I go without any human contact except with students in my office hours. It’s strangely suffocating. I am still not part of any lab, so there are no labmates to hang out with. My classmates go to…


April 5, 2018

When the mentee becomes the mentor

As a grad student, you may have the opportunity to mentor an undergraduate student, or even a beginning grad student. But how do you make the most of this opportunity? As a mentor, you are in a position to provide intellectual, professional and social guidance to your mentee. If you are working with an undergraduate…


March 20, 2018

Find tax help as a grad student

This Guru post has been updated from a previous inquiry. Happy filing! Filing taxes seems more complicated than it should be, and there seems to be no help from the university, despite the fact that many graduate students have very similar tax situations. What’s the best way to file to maximize our return (where do…


March 8, 2018

What to do if you experience sexual harassment or assault

This article was written in consultation with Valery Richardson, interim Title IX coordinator, Compliance Services.  We hope that you will never face sexual harassment or assault here on campus, but we understand the reality that you may. This week, the Guru will walk you through the steps you can take, and resources that are available…


February 22, 2018

Managing Expectations for Group Work

As a working student, how do I manage others’ expectations so that I can reduce the number of in-person meetings I’m expected to attend on campus? My employer graciously kept me on as a part-time staffer when I began graduate school (a two-year Master’s program). This is a professional position at 20 hours/week scheduled between…


December 14, 2017

The Grad School Guru
Equity in the Classroom: Putting names to faces

“How can I learn to recognize my students whose ethnicity is different from my own? I feel bad that it takes me much longer to remember their names and faces, and I have even mixed up some of the students, calling them by the wrong name.  They deserve better! I do study the photographs we…


November 30, 2017

Control the email, don’t let it control you

I get a LOT of email (including this one, no offense), and I can’t keep up. How do I get off all of these email lists? Shouldn’t there be one place I can change my preferences? —Anonymous This question was originally published in December 2015. The answer has been updated to reflect the University’s new email…


November 16, 2017

Advice on an advisor

I am a second-year doctoral student, and have not been able to build a positive relationship with my advisor. My emails go unanswered and our meetings are infrequent, short, and brisk. I feel that this person is unhelpful and even detrimental to my progress. I have tried communicating my discomfort with this relationship to my…



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